Description of our one-of-its-kind hands-on Practicum program, available for graduates of the Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training.
The Practicum program has been designed to support participants through hands-on, in-person experiences in which to apply learnings from the Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training to real world contexts. Working with experts in the field and 1:1 mentorship will not only help prepare you for your own practice, but also broaden your connections and network of professionals and organizations across the psychedelic field.
The Practicum Program Includes:
- A diverse marketplace of external practicum sites for selection, including retreat centers, clinical sites, and harm reduction organizations around the world.
- One year of Professional Continuity Workshops.
- Option to acquire twenty-five (25) hours of practicum experience at a Synthesis-led training retreat, the Immersion Experience.
- Practicum Completion Certificate.
STEP ONE: PLACEMENT
After completing the Psychedelic Practitioner Core Training, you will be invited to review and select your Practicum program site through our online marketplace.
While you do have three years to complete the practicum portion of this program, we recommend that you begin this process soon after digital course completion to best be able to integrate the knowledge of the digital training.
Browse a variety of sites in the Practicum Marketplace and select the option that interests you based on location, substances offered, lead facilitator, additional costs, calendar time required to complete your hours, and more. This process allows you to choose settings and medicine/substance that best suit your interests and career directions (e.g., clinical sites, research sites, retreat sites, or harm reduction sites).
“The experience for me really anchored the principle of sitting, not guiding, and simply holding space for someone coming in, without trying to fix or change their experience, or even pretending that we as a guide know what is needed. It showed me that with genuine respect, curiosity, and care for the person in front of me, they will know what they need and their inner experience unfolds exactly as it needs to.” — PREVIOUS PRACTICUM PARTICIPANT
STEP TWO: IN-PERSON EXPERIENCE
At Synthesis, we recognize that students who are working toward becoming practitioners are at many different stages of development with regards to skill, education, personal experience with psychedelics, and professional practice. At the very foundation of learning as practitioners is our ability to observe, witness without reacting, and listen carefully. Beginning to facilitate and/or to hold space with clients involves careful, slow practice.
It can be quite a commitment for a Practicum site to allow a student that they do not know into a carefully created and private setting of a person's psychedelic experience. While we recommend that all sites begin with allowing Practicum students to witness and carefully observe, and/or hold space in all encounters with participants, some sites will allow the student to engage with participants or do more than just witnessing and careful observation. Please know that this will vary from site to site.
Your participation in psychedelic sessions is determined by each practicum site and may depend on many factors. It is important to establish specific parameters for your experience with the site supervisor before you agree to the placement. Be prepared to use the practices of witnessing and careful observation of all sessions and for the duration of your Practicum experience.
Depending on the site and circumstances, Practicum hours may include:
- Preparation sessions with clients
- Preparing the space for a session
- Psychedelic sessions
- Retreat team debrief sessions
- Integrations sessions
- Site staff meeting time
- Supervisor meeting time, including prior and/or after the practicum’s official start date
- General operations and programmatic elements, such as: cleaning, clearing, and preparing different rooms and spaces for exercises and sharing circles, setting up the altar, preparing the ceremonial space, etc.
Our hope is that you will gain insights and learn from other professionals in the field who are working in safe and thoughtful ways. Your site will also cover ethical considerations, including maintaining confidentiality, respecting privacy, adhering to professional codes of conduct, and practicing ethical decision-making.
“The opportunity to learn with a master supervisor was humbling. The staff was well trained, their method of overseeing multiple simultaneous, separate psychedelic sessions was technically useful. Excellent collaborative environment gave rich examples of ways to build future practice.”— PREVIOUS PRACTICUM PARTICIPANT
STEP THREE: PROFESSIONAL CONTINUITY WORKSHOPS
Community is a crucial part of the learning journey for any professional, which is what we will focus on in our Professional Continuity Workshops.
These exclusive 90-minute live gatherings will be open to those who are in the process fulfilling their practicum requirements for the Psychedelic Practitioner Training, offering an opportunity to connect with and learn from others in the field.
Hosted by expert facilitators, researchers, and professionals from the global psychedelic space, the workshops will center around a specific question or case study. Those present will engage in rich processing of the case study in alignment with the Synthesis pedagogy of “Many ways of Knowing” and oriented toward honing specific skills.
Each Workshop Includes:
- A specific and practical case study from expert psychedelic professionals, often lifted directly from their experience.
- Break-out rooms in which participants can explore the topic in small groups, discuss how they might react/respond to the situation, and deepen professional relationships.
- Presentations from other students who have completed their practicum
- Opportunities to ask questions of the host and dialog as a group
These gatherings tie in the learning from all nine modules of the Digital Training, as well as the hands-on experience of the practicum to truly round out your training.
Example topics include:
- Preparing, Working With, and Integrating Resistance
- Screening and On-Site Protocols
- De-escalating Aggression in Ceremony
- Expectations of Ego Death
- Integration Resistance and Non-Experience
STEP FOUR: PRACTICUM ASSESSMENT
Following the completion of the in-person practicum experience, students will undergo a final evaluation and assessment to gauge overall achievement of learning objectives and application of practical skills. This assessment is designed to allow you to reflect meaningfully on your experiences, showcase professional growth, and demonstrate understanding of best practices in the field.
Practicum Assessment consists of:
- An evaluation by the on-site supervisor reviewing your time on site.
- A self-assessment form, reflecting on your experience.
- A presentation in a Professional Continuity Workshop providing an overview of your practicum experience and learning objectives, reflection on the experience, and how it integrates with the content of the digital training.
The final assessment and presentation for the Practicum Program are not intended to evaluate or judge, but rather to be useful to your own professional development, in the spirit of the Warrior Exam. They are an opportunity to reflect on your learning outcomes, showcase practical skills, and receive valuable feedback for future professional growth.
The site supervisor evaluation and self-assessments will evaluate your growth and abilities in the following areas:
- Ability establish rapport and build trust with co-facilitators and clients
- Provide a calm, supportive, and non-judgmental presence
- Demonstrate comfort with not-knowing
- Empathy and compassion
- Attention and presence
- Active listening
- Verbal communication (clear, supportive, pertinent)
- Capacity for engaging in adequate self-care (if applicable)
- Timekeeping and attendance
- Willingness and enthusiasm
- Efficacy at completing tasks set
- Ability to work with others
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What activities do not count towards Practicum hours?
- Personal experience with psychedelic medicines. This includes participating in a retreat or clinical trial as a patient / participant.
- Your own professional practice with psychedelic medicine. Synthesis’ Psychedelic Practitioner Practicum is designed to support you in gaining experience at a new site, observing how practitioners are conducting their work in the field, and receiving supervision from a professional in the field.
- Prior training or work hours. Since Practicum sites need to be formally assessed by the Synthesis Practicum team, a contract needs to be stipulated, and sites are asked to assess students during their Practicum, it is not possible to accept practicum hours retrospectively.
- Non-psychedelic training. For example, companies and institutions that train students to work with altered-states of consciousness without the direct use of psychedelic medicines.
Can I fulfill my Practicum at a non-approved site?
No. In order to follow legal and ethical standards, we require that you complete your Practicum placement at a pre-approved site. If there is a site you are interested in working with that is not currently in our marketplace, please read the next question.
How does a Practicum site get approved by Synthesis?
We developed an interview process to assess whether practicum sites are a good fit for the Practicum Program. While we cannot ultimately guarantee the quality of a site's work, we aim to verify ethical alignment and they agree to collaboratively work toward ethical standards in the field. Students may also have a lot to offer a practicum site. We envision this as a symbiotic relationship with possibilities for learning and growth for both students and sites.
What is the tuition fee for Practicum?
The tuition fee for the Practicum ranges between $2,500 and $2,900. The exact amount depends on early registration discounts and available bundles at the time of your enrollment. For instance, enrolling in both our Practicum program and the Immersion Experience training retreat will qualify you for a significant discount.
Are there additional costs involved in completing the Practicum?
This varies for each site, but some do ask for a fee for accommodations and food. We will share this information with you before you fill out the form indicating your interest. Sites also do not cover travel expenses.
Do I have to have experience with psychedelics before my placement?
Each external site will have their own requirements which you can review before applying to a site. Some sites will require minimum experience with psychedelics, while others won’t.
How long do I have to complete Practicum?
You will have three (3) years from the start of your training with Synthesis to complete your Practicum.